He pointed to the left as we turned the corner in his compact Hyundai.
“See.. Earthquake”, he said, removing his eyes from the busy, unpaved road.
The man driving the car was Suraj Dhakal, a kind family man who opened his home to me while I worked on this story. The building that he pointed out to me on my first day in Nepal was once a small grocery store that also had a honey shop and a carpet shop on the second floor. I walked by that building everyday and it remained untouched, probably looking very similar to the way it looked the day after the earthquakes strong aftershocks. One day, I walked by the building to see four men standing on top of the cracked, crumbling pillars. They were beginning to take down what remained of the structure in a way that I had never seen before. This was the only way they could get the job done. They were balancing on flimsy, rusted rebar, about 15 feet above the ground. The men perched atop the unstable structure and began to go to work. One man held a thick metal stake in place while another carefully, but forcefully, tapped the stake into what remained of the cement pillar. Once the stake was set in place, the three men took turns hammering it into the pillar with all of their strength, causing the concrete to slowly crumble away.
Although approximately four billion dollars has been pledged to Nepal, earmarked for earthquake recovery, most of that money remains unused because of corruption in Nepal’s government. The people of Nepal have largely been left to fend for themselves during their recovery process. I was greatly impressed by the resilience and strength of the Nepali people. Through all of the hardship that the Nepali’s have faced, they continue to demonstrate strength and have moved forward, forging their way toward a full recovery with little help from their government.
About the author:
Zach Fratella was born in 1991. He lives and works as a photographer in Wilmington, DE. He graduated from Goucher College in 2013.